Natural Disasters and the Filipinos

Natural Disasters

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There may never be an end to them but the Filipinos will always survive and thrive


What’s the sense in all of this?


You might find yourself suddenly asking this question when you see homes and lives wrecked by an earthquake, a tornado, a typhoon.  Your faith wavers.  You question the existence of God.  You may not see how you can ever survive.  Your stomach is grumbling and your lips are parched dry.  There are so many things to do, so much to rebuild, you get overwhelmed and just don’t know where to begin. It’s normal.


Although the Philippine Islands have always been buffeted by natural calamities such as storms, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes simply on account of its geography, no disaster has ever been as virulent and tragic as those in recent years.  


Provinces in the Visayas area especially Cebu and Bohol were shattered by an earthquake in 2013 which until now has seemed to not have fully spewed out its wrath.  After the 7.2 major quake has come thousands of aftershocks, some are just as shattering as the major ones. Century-old churches, those cherished historical places have been reduced to rubble.  And the earthquake has made fear a constant presence in people’s lives as it has exposed the hundreds of sinkholes underneath the very ground they live on. 



Then some tornadoes visited some other parts of the island and Cebu, also wreaking havoc.  And that typhoon – typhoon Yolanda.  It not only worsened the already appalling condition of the people in the quake-hit provinces, it lashed out its fury on many more provinces in the Visayas, lashed out ferociously like a terribly angry god.  It claimed the lives of thousands of people, leaving a destruction that is so heartbreaking, your eyes would just well with huge tears on their own accord as though they were your very heart. 


Now, people are still reeling from those.


It’s hard not to ask those questions.  It’s hard not to doubt.  But the Filipinos have always been known to be made of hardy stuff.  We may take some time to grieve and grapple with the truth or wrestle with our gods, but you will always see us get back on our feet in no time at all.  We will prevail, and you will soon see the smile back on our faces or at least the resolute determination to keep hacking for life. 

September 8, 2017
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